The World Scout Bureau has released a report titled “Scouting’s Gifts for Peace“. The Gifts for Peace report contains truly inspirational projects from over 110 National Scout Organizations, as well as beautiful photos of many of the projects.
In case you have no idea what the Scouting’s Gift for Peace Project is, here you go:
Scouts worldwide celebrated 100 years of Scouting in 2007 by presenting their Gifts for Peace, locally, nationally and internationally. The aim of this global program is to inspire young people to tackle issues in their communities, build peace and bring people together.
Building bridges between people has been a central focus of Scouting since its founding when Baden Powell brought together boys from different social backgrounds. In 1920 young people from countries which had been at war with each other gathered at the first World Scout Jamboree, a celebration of cultures, fun and friendship.
The Gifts for Peace projects have given renewed emphasis to the active promotion of peace throughout the world.
The Gifts for Peace reported here are projects undertaken by 110 national Scout organizations for their impact in terms of education, understanding, tolerance and respect for others. Countless more Gifts for Peace are being carried out by local Scout groups. Some projects have concluded and others continue.
Through the Gifts for Peace, Scouts worldwide are:
• Managing conflict without violence: conflict resolution, problem solving, negotiation, mediation and anger management.
• Challenging prejudices and stereotypes such as racism, religious intolerance, bullying and gender discrimination.
• Encouraging greater solidarity: with refugees, internally displaced people, asylum seekers, street children and ethnic minority groups.
• Working at national and local levels on issues including child soldiers, child labor, street violence and gangs, health education and human rights.
The Gifts for Peace program and projects described in this report show how Scouts worldwide are taking action to make a difference. Millions of Scouts, in over 110 countries, are working to create a better world!
I’d encourage you to at least glance through the report and see how Scouts around the world are promoting peace in their country. If you are just curious about what the Boy Scouts of America has listed, there is a description of the “Good Turn for America“, as well as a story about Hurricane Katrina cleanup, titled “Rebuilding Communities, Rebuilding Trust”.
Here is the United State’s listing, you’ll have to download the report to view the “Rebuilding Communities, Rebuilding Trust” story. (It’s on page 50)
Good Turn for America
Scouts are giving their time and energy to provide food and shelter for those in need and to teach their peers about healthy living. Service is a core value of Scouting and the Boy Scouts of America have been helping communities since their creation. They decided to focus on food and shelter issues because 17.8 percent of children in the United States live in poverty, and because their living conditions affect their performance in school.
Scouts, through their Good Turn for America program, are focusing on supporting issues connected to food, shelter and good health habits. Scouts can record their service hours and to inform people of what they have done on the project’s website. As of early 2008, more than 6.9 million service hours had been given by Scouts to their community. They have teamed up with the most respected governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Department of Health and Human Services, to help people in need.
One extraordinary example of the type of service is the cleaning up of houses affected by hurricane Katrina. Many had been flooded and filled with mud and debris. Scouts were trusted by the population, at a time when looting was widespread, and were able to provide hope and help rebuild trust in a community which badly needed it.
Besides the “Scouting’s Gifts for Peace“, there is also a Gifts for Peace website. A project database and website have been developed to share the Gifts for Peace online. The web pages also contain links to educational resources and to information gathered from long-standing peace projects in the ‘Learning from Projects’ area.
It’s a good read and very inspirational.